"Midsomer Murders" Death by Persuasion (TV Episode 2017) Poster

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Hijinks at a re-enactment of Georgian times
blanche-213 June 2017
It's murder, mayhem, and, of all things, drones circling around a festival celebrating Georgian times in "Death by Persuasian."

This episode has all of the typical Midsomer elements: an old situation that bears on the present, secrets, blackmail - and the setting is very gentile, right down to the Georgian costumes.

And there's a second murder.

Barnaby and Winter investigate, in the midst of Barnaby's wife writing a novel and as the detectives deal with a temporary replacement coroner, who is quite the flirt. But it's clear Winter's mind is on Kam, who is due back soon.

I found this pretty average as these shows go and a little difficult to follow. I put that down to it not really holding my attention as it should have.
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Back, but hardly worth the wait
Sleepin_Dragon13 May 2018
Firstly, I feel I need to take issue with the delay British audiences have had waiting for this episode to be shown, seen everywhere else in the world, bar Britain. ITV shame on you, not on.

The episode itself, first twenty minutes I was absolutely blown away, a stylish sleek opening, real quality in those opening scenes, menacing, smart, hugely professional. The cast list, fantastic, so much talent, including Samuel West, Claire Skinner, and the fabulous Anamaria Marinca. Even the use of vintage Midsomer music made me think we were onto a real winner.

Then comes the point where Dudgeon dons fancy dress, and the whole thing unravels. None of us watching it at home knew who, what or why, the story absolutely lost us all, was so hard to follow. Even on a second viewing the conclusion seemed totally ridiculous.

It wasn't all bad, Marinca was excellent as the flirtatious pathologist, even if it is just a short term project for her, with Annette Badland due to take over. Winter was great, and the acting was generally very good, apart from the encounter where Samuel West fell over, I mean come on!

I love Midsomer Murders, there have been so many classics, I just feel in the hands of whoever has it now it's going to vanish into obscurity, please go back to basics, check out some of the vintage episodes, and capture that core element that made it compulsive viewing. This sucked. 5/10
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A bit confusing with a laugh out loud moment
lwio196015 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Well I was as confused as some of the actors seemed to be. This was an episode shoehorned around the new exciting drone craze, that already seems to have faded. There were the usual red herrings and not as high body count as usual but the scene that made me laugh out loud was the drone murder. Dropping a knife from a drone 30 feet to kill someone, that was jumping the shark. Still not bad entertainment but the writing needs to improve.
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keith-robinson-113 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Who flew the drone to accurately drop a knife into Ronin and from where? How did Samantha Berry come to be born? Her father went to prison years ago and was only released recently. He was in love with Kitty Oswood?!? Lots of unresolved details in this one. How did everyone know the steps perfectly of an archaic dance?
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Jane Austen comes to Midsomer
TheLittleSongbird21 May 2018
When in its prime (a vast majority of Seasons 1-9), 'Midsomer Murders' was a great show and one that is watched and re-watched frequently. Seasons 10-13 became more uneven, with three of the show's worst episodes coming from Seasons 11 and 13, but there were a few solid episodes and "Blood Wedding" and especially "Master Class" were gems.

After John Nettles retired and Neil Dudgeon and the new character of John Barnaby took over, 'Midsomer Murders' just hasn't been the same on the most part. For every odd good episode, there were also bad ones with particular low-points being "Echoes of the Dead" and "Night of the Stag". Season 19 on the most part has generally been one of the better John Barnaby-era seasons, but after starting off very well and continuing that standard for 4 of its 6 episodes the last two episodes, of which "Death By Persuasion" is one, were disappointing.

There is a good deal to like about "Death By Persuasion" still certainly. The production values cannot be faulted as usual. It's beautifully and atmospherically shot with suitably picturesque scenery. The music fits perfectly, with some lush jauntiness and sometimes an ominous quality, and the haunting theme tune is one of the most memorable and instantly recognisable of the genre.

Some of the atmosphere at times is suitably creepy, it starts off on a stylish note, the Jane Austen atmosphere and references are fun and most of the acting is good. Nick Hendrix is likable and he works quite well with Dudgeon Barnaby and Winter's partnership gels a little better than Barnaby's previous partners and isn't as condescending.

Betty is adorable as is the dog (although no Sykes, who is missed). Fiona Dolman has been growing on me since her and Barnaby's relationship was made warmer, though their subplot is still on the clichéd side. The supporting performances are generally good, particularly from Claire Skinner. Quite liked the pathologist too, very appealingly played and perhaps the best pathologist since Dr Bullard, being a non-fan of bland Kate and especially cold fish Kam.

On the other hand, things do get ridiculous once Barnaby and Winter don fancy dress where the atmosphere goes and it becomes less interesting. The writing lacks tightness and can get awkward and not developed enough. Neil Dudgeon fails to generate much warmth or engagement as Barnaby and can come over as wooden.

Furthermore, the story is mostly a convoluted mess of too many hard to follow elements, too much going on, clichéd subplots that are in some cases thrown in, loose ends, under-explained and incomplete-feeling crucial plot points, a lot of strangeness and ridiculousness (especially the drones, which were afterthought-like and explanations for their use and such were barely there).

Much of it doesn't make much sense and my comprehension tends to be fine watching 'Midsomer Murders' but too much of "Death By Persuasion" confused me. The denouement is far too rushed, crammed in with just over ten minutes to go with no signs of how the conclusion was gotten to, with the identity of the killer and motive feeling like they were thrown in at last minute with little thought as to whether they made sense and properly explored (neither of which the case).

In conclusion, disappointing, starting off well with good points but generally far too rushed, over-stuffed and convoluted. 5/10 Bethany Cox
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All the classic Midsomer Murders traits are here...thank jeebus
mikeynma16 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Affairs? Check Money Problems? Check Rich people? Check Writers misunderstanding young people and writing them badly? Check People in village not liking something? Check Inspectors wife inexplicably linked to case? Check Sidekick has a love interest? Check Comedy value all round? Check

Things I didn't understand;

how did they know the dance and where did they get such period correct costumes at short notice and didn't Barnaby say he didn't want one

Why were there banks and banks of servers and monitors that were doing nothing?

Why did he have to steer the drone when it runs on GPS and can be sent there on its own?

Why was the "Jane Austen Weekend" primarily full of people from the village?

As usual the conclusion made very little sense and seemed shoehorned in as usual.

Was it great? Of course, this is what you expect when watching MSM. Me and my girlfriend give in 60 mins in and try to guess the killer...and point out the side stories. Its a fun MSM game for all the family...well us two at least.

Oh and as always we were on look out for the ever present extra "Susan Fordham"...it's like Where's Wally for Midsomer.
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Jane Austen and drones
Tweekums14 May 2018
After a surprisingly long break 'Midsomer Murders' returned to ITV with an episode that appears to be set in Regency England. A woman in period dress walks away from a party at the local hall then we are brought back to the present as we see she is being observed by a sinister looking drone. Shortly afterwards she is murdered by an unseen assailant who stabbed her with a poisoned quill pen. Barnaby and Winter are soon on the scene; it turns out the owners of the hall were having a Jane Austen themed event. Of course not everybody approves, the head of the local Jane Austen Society believes they are getting all the details wrong. Not long afterwards they learn about the drone so investigate a local business that has been taking part in a trial to see if drones can be used to deliver medicines... again there are objections. As the investigation proceeds more possibilities arise; a possibly link to the hall being burnt down many years before and somebody starts blackmailing the owner of the hall.

This episode marks a welcome return for this long-running, slightly tongue in cheek, murder mystery series. The ideas involved are classic 'Midsomer Murders'; either the Jane Austen story or the drones might have sufficed on their own but together it works even better as the two ideas are so different. As is usually the case there are numerous suspects to keep the viewer guessing till the end... I guessed incorrectly but that didn't bother me when we got the final reveal. There is of course some sillines; the second murder, involving a drone, would have been almost impossible to execute in reality, drones often fly close to people without being heard and no comments are made about a shotgun that was fired at a party not being properly secured... this is all part of the charm of Midsomer though; it never really took place in the real world. Away from the case temporary pathologist Petra Antonescu takes an interest in Winters... given the number of Eastern Europeans living in the UK now it is good to see one featuring in a major series even if she may not be a recurring character. Overall I really enjoyed this; good fun Midsomer silliness.
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Drones and Jane Austen are dangerous, you know?
harrykivi30 March 2018
Warning: Spoilers
After terrible "Breaking the chain", I waited something better from Chris Murray, because he is actually a good writer(remember "Christmas hunting"-awesome episode) Fortunately this episode is better than last episode written by Murray, it is very humerous with Sarah trying to publish her book. Characters are not bad and acting is good as usual. Samatha Berry's and Ronin Chow's murders are clever and fun. And I enjoyed this episode overall. Idenity of the killer will shock you a bit too.

But. As told , the story is average and quite hard to follow at some point. Even though the subplots are finished, there are tons of untied endings at the end., which makes this mystery not the most well put together one. Who was the guy burning Ronin's computer? How could killer drive a drone? All that is unanswered. Also this story lacks of suprises, that were needed at some point. The turns that should be shocking are not like that. Some of them are pretty easy to guess( who is in affair with who). Some characters are left there and not needed at all(Dr Solomon gets 5 scenes and he's questioned only few times.) The Jane Austen setting is laughable as well. General this is a 5/10- average Midsomer that doesn't have lot to offer.
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not seen it yet.
levitt-9715614 February 2018
This is not a review,people n the uk have not seen this yet,due to the stupidy of itv.they cant seem to fit these episodes in to the scheduling.its about time they dumped these appalling and out of date date soaps.coronation street should have been axed 25 years ago,but still drones on ,with ever increasing slots being used up for yet more episodes.it was crap in 1960 yet nearly 60 years later still drones on.ditto Emmerdale farm.sort it out itv.
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Another classic Midsommer - great cast, very funny, English irony
davemellor13 May 2018
I am watching this as I write and it is a typically well done and researched British murder mystery (Magdalen College - surely you pronounce that 'Maudlin' says Barnaby - aka Neil Gudgeon).

Don't know who 'dun it' yet - but I can spot a liar by the tremour of an eyebrow. Not the tremor of an earthquake.

Dave Mellor, UK
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